[EDITOR'S NOTE: There is no pizza party. But you're already here, so have a read.]
Phillies reliever Antonio Bastardo, the young, left-handed reliever counted on for big LOOGY outs in the late innings of close ballgames, filed for salary arbitration on Tuesday.
Bastardo made $505,000 last year when he went 2-5 with a 4.33 ERA in 65 appearances. That came on the heels of a spectacular 2011 season in which he posted an ERA 2.64. Bastardo is expected to pair with Mike Adams as part of a late-inning set-up duo for closer Jonathan Papelbon in 2013.
Bastardo still generated a lot of swings and misses last year, despite his elevated ERA. However, his control was an issue, particularly early in the season. Players still hit just .207 against him, while lefties hit just .169 against him. In fact, Bastardo even increased his K/9 rate to 14.0 last year, up from 10.9 the year before.
Bastardo should see his salary almost double to around $1 million if the two sides do not reach an agreement on a one-year or multi-year deal. Arbitration hearings are set to take place in February, but most teams typically agree to terms with their player before the sometimes divisive arbitration hearings begin.
If the case does go to an arbitration judge, each side will present a salary they feel is fair, with the judge deciding the compensation.